Welcome to Mellie's mind...

Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

Enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday......

Lent Wednesday
18 February 2015
Ash Wednesday
Psalm 38 Daniel 9.3–6, 17–19 1 Timothy 6.6–19 Daniel 9.3–6,17–19 ‘For your own sake, O my God’ (v.19)
Daniel’s cry is one of real desperation. As if not only he, but the whole city of God, is sinking in quicksand. Floundering is of no avail; no good to clutch at the straws of human righteousness and self-justification. The imperatives tumble over each other. Listen! Let your face shine upon us! Incline your ear! Open your eyes! Forgive! Do not delay! This is an urgent, wholehearted appeal to the mercy of God to save the city and people who bear God’s name.
Anyone who suffers stress, or anxiety, or panic attacks knows the reality of this – how you feel like the foundations of life are no longer there. The more you try to find a secure foothold, the more shaky your hold on your life becomes. When the foundations are undermined, there seems nowhere to turn to escape. The more you struggle, the deeper you go.
It is Ash Wednesday today – a day on which to take seriously the reality of our utter dependence upon God. A day on which to remember how lost we are when we rely upon our own merit and virtue – how quickly things turn to dust and ashes in our hands without the grace of God sustaining and leading us. Let us pray today for a deepened sense of God’s grace throughout the days of Lent ahead, so we come to know more clearly and dearly, and nearly, that sustaining love. Without it, we are already the dust to which we shall return. But not yet, for God’s sake.
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may receive from you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 
~Frances Ward
 This is not my first Lent season in my life.   I have been a "Catholic" now for almost 11 years and have been around the Catholic faith for over 15 years.  But each Lent season comes a better understanding of my faith and of the season itself. 

During mass this morning the Father of my church explained Lent a little different than I had heard in past years.  He explained to us that this was a time of change.  A time to change something about our lives that not only bettered us but also helped us be a steward for our faith.  He went on to say by the end of the 40 days it's OUR goal to be a new improved person with new habits in our lives.

"At the end of the 40 days it is our goal to be a new improved person with new habits in our lives."

This one statement really reached out and grabbed me and took a hold of me.  This was my time to change things about myself and about my life so at the end of the 40 days I could look back and know that I bettered myself, my family and possibly anyone around me who needs help too.

As the scriptures say above... "Daniel's cry is one of real desperation." 

I AM in a position myself of real desperation.  I go through my days by doing the motions of my life.  I do the same thing everyday and I walk around with a smile on my face but my soul is in torment.  My heart is broken and my mind is a scattered mess.  I can sometimes feel myself spinning out of control because of things I have NO control over.   How messed up is that?

This is  day to remind us how lost we are are and how we NEED to rely upon God and His plan for us.  This is a day that I HAVE to finally let go of the things in my soul and heart and move past them and move towards God.  This is a day to stop praying for something to happen and just pray that God will take over.  This is the day to let go, wipe the slate clean and rather than chase something or someone, I need to chase God.

As a person who likes to try and control her surroundings as a defense mechanism, I am the first person who should be letting go of that control and just learning to trust in God.  People are going to lie to me, people are going to hurt me, people are going to think they are getting the better of me.... all of that will happen and continue to happen for the rest of my days on this Earth..... so why fight it?  Why not just learn to stop thinking about it, let it go and give it to God?  It seems so simple, yet it's the hardest thing I have to do for myself.

I am in a position of real desperation and there is NO one that is going to be able to save me. It is a time to look to Him and stop looking to others or to myself for fix me.

As I wear my ashes on my head today and I silently go through my day working, going to the gym and being with my family my words and thoughts will focus on finally letting go.

This season WILL be a time of change for me.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I am.......

If you have been following my blog you know these cards are called the I Am...... Cards.  The idea is to pull a card each day to read a positive affirmation to fill your mind with.  By focusing on positive thoughts, you can change how you feel and the way you think.  It's a simple way to experience life in a new and exciting way, and to explore your mind with the thought behind the "I am".... card of the day.

I am....willing

This can mean so many things and can say so much about my life, I am not sure in what direction I am to go with this card.  If I allow the negative in I think to myself someone would think I am not willing.  That person would say I am not willing to accommodate them or do what they ask or be the person they think I should be.  But I quickly dismiss this from my mind and remind myself that this is not about negative.  This is about being positive and I am.....willing.

My friend and I have been discussing the past few days how to change our lives.  We discuss how she feels when she meets someone new and what her expectations are.  If those expectations are not met right away then she is quick to move on.  Her saying is "BBG" (BITCH be GONE!)

However, it's my thought that if she changes her expectations and she changes the way she allows a person to treat her then this will change the actions that take place.  We were talking last night and I told her she had to do things differently if she expected a different outcome. 

This rings true for me and for everyone.  We all want some change in our lives and we all have this idea of what certain areas of our lives should look like but do we do what is needed to get there?  Are we willing to take new steps to get there or stay stuck in the pattern we have always been in?

For me this card means this... I am .... willing

I am willing to start making the small necessary changes in the areas of my life, my heart and my head, to get me to where I want and think I should be.  I can no longer let myself be sucked into circles of drama.  I can no longer allow what a person says to me cut my deep.  I can no longer put myself out there like I always do to try and save people.  I have to be willing to take new steps to achieve new goals.   This does not mean I cannot still help people, but it does means I don't have to be a doormat for some.  It doesn't mean that I have to inherit everyone's sadness and save them.  It means that I have to draw new boundaries and be willing to take new actions to get new results.

Positive changes aren’t a matter of will.  It's a matter of being willing to do what it takes to get me where I want to be.  When I am not willing, no matter how much I proclaim I am, change will not happen.  I do not need a strong will to succeed.  I only need willingness to whatever is required to make my goals and dreams happen.  I need to be willing to change the way I allow others to treat me.  I have to be willing to work around, go through, over or under any obstacles that get in my way.. Including myself.

Every day we must focus on our purpose and act on our plans.  Just like getting in shape physically I had to make a plan and work my plan.  The same willingness for a positive life has to be endured and the same kind of action plan has to be focused on.

Today I will make a list of things I want to see improved in my life.  It can be anything or everything it is up to me.  I will put that list on my desk, where I will see it every day, and I will read it over and over again.  So that it not only is in the forefront of my mind but I can be reminded of it and reminded that I must be open and willing to the change for it to happen.

No one is going to make my life for me.  No one can save me or make things better.  I have the power and I have the ability I just have to be willing.

I am....willing

Make it a great day! 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Time to get back at it.. week two

For many of my friends, family and those who follow me you all know me to be a hard worker.  Someone who gives it her all and goes for it with everything I have.  I tend not to back down from many challenges nor do I back down from anything or anyone coming against me.

As this year comes to a countdown of hours left I have been faced with the reality to really review the last year of my life and evaluate where I was, where I was headed and where I ended up.

As a part of growing up, yes I am still growing at 41, it has came to my realization as of today that I spent most of 2014 chasing things.  People, dreams, expectations and ideas other people had for me.  Some of it was good, some of it was not.  I do not regret the year but I regret what I allowed to fall apart..... my standard of living a healthy life as well as pushing those around me in theirs.

So, I am going to get back on the wagon and force myself to stay on it.  Time to refocus on myself, my fitness and helping those around me.  No more chasing, no more grasping and no more putting myself last.

This upcoming weekend I will do what I have not done in a LONG time... I will cook my food for the week.  I will create my caloric intake and I will create the meals that will get me there.  I will create my plan for my caloric burn to achieve my daily/weekly deficit and I will begin to live the lifestyle I thrive in... a healthy one.

If you find yourself in the same position I am in and if you feel lost, then please... feel free to follow along.  I will TRY and post my weekly menus and workouts so that anyone out there can follow along too.  Make sure you have no food allergies and understand each weight movement.  I am NOT responsible for you if you hurt yourself or if you eat something that makes your face blow up!  I am not offering personal menus for anyone and I can not adjust if you do not like a food.. please do not ask.  I am simply giving you the option to follow along and change your life too.

Isn't it time we start living the lives we were meant to live?

Happy New Year!


***** WEEK TWO*****

  • 1 cup cooked Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup Almond Milk-original
  • ½ cup fruit of any kind
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • Green Tea, no sugar of any kind added
Am Snack:
  • ½ cup of almonds
  • Green Tea, no sugar of any kind added
  • Mellie’s Chicken & Andouille Soup
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 oz. almonds
  • Green Tea, no sugar of any kind added
PM Snack:
  • 1 scoop of protein 
  • Green Tea, no sugar of any kind added
(After a weight workout only drink 2 scoops of ARM)
  • Mellie’s Chicken Dinner in a packet
  • 2 cups Broccoli-cooked or raw
  • Green Tea, no sugar of any kind added

PM Snack: (1 hour to 30 min prior to bed)
  • 1 scoop of protein  
Mellie’s Cajun Chicken & Andouille Soup

lb. boneless skinless chicken breast cut into ¾” pieces
8 oz. Andouille or other fully cooked sausage halved lengthwise and then cut into ¼” pieces.
8 cups of low sodium, organic, chicken broth
2 14.5 oz. cans of organic crushed tomatoes
2 cups of organic corn kernels
2 cup sliced fresh or frozen and thawed okra
2 small red onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
Combine all ingredients into a 10-quart or larger slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Season with black pepper to taste.

 Divide into 7 servings

Mellie’s Chicken in a Packet

7 5-oz boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 cups sliced fresh organic mushrooms
4 medium carrots, cut in thin strips
2 medium zucchini, unpeeled and sliced
Tbsp. organic olive oil
Tbsp. lemon juice
tsp. dry basil
Black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375
Fold 7 12X28 pieces of foil in half to make 7 12x14 rectangles.  Place one chicken breast half on each piece of foil.  Top the chicken in each with mushrooms, carrots and zucchini, dividing the vegetables equally among the chicken bundles.  
In a small bowl, stir together oil, lemon juice, basil and pepper.  Drizzle oil mixture over vegetables and chicken.
Pull up two opposite edges of foil.  Seal with a double fold.  The fold in remaining edges, leaving enough space for steam to build.  Place the bundles side by side in a shallow baking pan.
Bake 35 min

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I put the EMOTION in emotional eating......

How many times in your life have you "emotionally ate?"  For me on and off about a billion times in this last year alone.  Or at other times I will "emotionally" starve myself because I am too upset to eat and somehow subconsciously punish myself.   What causes this emotional state of mind that is then directed to the patterns of my consumption of ... anything?

We have ALL heard that stress is BAD for us.  It heightens our senses; it keeps us up at night and can take the joy out of joyful things.  But it also increases the chemical levels in our bodies.  

When we are stressed the body increases it levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.  Cortisol is made in the adrenal glands.  It helps regulate blood sugar, the process of carbohydrates, proteins and fats into and out of the cells.  High levels of cortisol works against your body's natural desire to stay thin and healthy and it can create cravings for salty and sweet foods. 

When we are under stress some people seek out friends for social support. This can be a great outlet if used properly but most of the time we tend to go out with our friends for dinner or drinks and try and reduce our stress over a meal.  Emotional eating this way can make you feel better at the moment but often will be only short term and thus leaving you with regret later.

Some emotional eating I have seen is due to nervous energy.  Those who find themselves anxious or fidgety will lead to eating when they really are not hungry at all. 

An emotional eating trigger I have is from being a child.  My mother would celebrate us with treats or help up feel better after a bad day with allowing extra sugary treats.  I also witnessed this behavior from her as well when she was depressed.  She would not only go into her room for days at a time she would consume excessive amounts of salt and sugar in treats, chips and or take out. Food can be powerfully comforting or rewarding in times of stress. 

Other examples of emotional eating are when we stuff our faces to stuff our emotions.  People who are uncomfortable with confrontation may deal with their frustrations with a piece of cake, a candy bar or any number of things.  Food can take the focus off our anger, fears or anxiety so we do not have to feel them.  

I once knew a woman who struggled with her weight.  She would hide Jolly Rancher bars all over her house.  When her and her hubby would fight, about anything, she would take solitude in the candy as well as in her mind she was non verbally telling him off by eating the candy.  She did this for many years before she fully understood that she wasn't taking the anger out on him but on herself instead.

We all have many reasons for emotional eating and we all can struggle with it in one way or the other.  But what's important is that we understand and become aware of our triggers and have a game plan in place for when the triggers arise.
Here are a few suggestions if you find that you are an emotional eater:

  • Try going for a brisk walk.  By getting up and moving either by walking or going to the gym you get your endorphins going.  If you are at work and cannot get away try taking your break and walking around the parking lot.  Even a short, brisk walk will help.
  • Meal plan.  Have your meals prepared and planned for one week at a time.  This makes you less likely to grab a snack if you know when and where your next healthy meal is coming from. 
  • Drink water.  Chug as much water as you can down.  This will not only be good for your body but it will make you feel full and less likely to grab that candy bar out of the machine.
  • Journal.  Write your feelings down at that very moment you feel week.  Get it out and don't worry about anything but getting the words out onto paper There is such a release when we journal our feelings.
  • Call a friend and ask them about THEIR day.  Don't focus on your, focus on them.  This will not only buy you time to get through the cravings it will also probably fulfill your emotional need at that time and make your friend feel good too. 
There is no quick or 100% answer for emotional eating.  It all comes down to you and what your triggers are.  But if you can honestly sit back and understand what the body is doing and then understand why YOU are allowing it to happen you can fight it off even more.  

You have the power to stop the vicious circle of emotional eating and you have the power to change your life.

Start living the life you were meant to live.... TODAY!


I am......

If you have been following my blog you know these cards are called the I Am...... Cards.  The idea is to pull a card each day to read a positive affirmation to fill your mind with.  By focusing on positive thoughts, you can change how you feel and the way you think.  It's a simple way to experience life in a new and exciting way, and to explore your mind with the thought behind the "I am".... card of the day.

I am....friendly

When I was a young girl I was very shy.  I came from a household with two older brothers who were outgoing and didn't have issues making friends.  My brother who was just a few years older than me was the charismatic one.  I not only admired his outgoing personality and friendliness I also lived in his shadow.  He could do no wrong in my mother's eyes and everyone was drawn to him.  I was the little sister that tagged along.

I, like most girls, had body image issues.  I was never pretty enough or thin enough.  My "development" was slower than most and I just was not comfortable in who I was.  I knew I was a good person but my lack of self-esteem prevented me from really showing this side of myself and being outgoing at a young age.

As I grew and began having children I really found myself analyzing who I was.  I would sit and think about my own self-worth, how I allowed others to treat me and how I treated myself.  Even into adulthood I was not very nice to myself sometimes and I would hide in my own shadow. 

One of the good things about growing up like this was it made me appreciate others who felt similar.  I was and still am able to tell when other people are feeling the same way I use to feel.  Being shy and insecure is no longer an issue for me, however, it has allowed me to recognize and understand when others are and thus allowing me to go out of my way to be friendly to them.

I am a friendly person.  Most days I walk around making eye contact with those around me.  I will offer a smile and sometimes a hello, no matter where I am, what sex, race or age the people around me are.  When I was not so outgoing I knew how it to walk around and be invisible and I don't want that for anyone else, even if they are a stranger to me.

When I am out in a group of friends I will scan the room and make sure everyone is having a good time.  If someone is left out of a conversation, I will maneuver myself in that conversation to allow the person being left out to have an opportunity to contribute.  If someone is not being engaged with I will go out of my way to talk to that person in hopes to ease their discomfort and draw them in and offer myself as a friend they can be with rather than feeling alone.

When talking to a person who I sense is not feeling comfortable or insecure I will be encouraging with them.  I will point out a quality about their personality that is positive so they will hear me tell them I think they are a good person.  This could mean I tell someone how much I appreciate their humor, or how well they do their job and how much I appreciate them.  Sometimes I will go out of my way at the gym to let a female know I can see the changes she is making in her body with her workouts to give her encouragement.  All of these little acts are real and have nothing to do with me.  I have no agenda, I am not trying to be Ms. Popular, and I am simply taking a second out of my day because I can sense someone needs some friendliness.

As I got older and became more aware of the impact I have on others and the ability to help people change their lives for the better I also became someone who others are drawn to.  My hubby use to tell me all the time that people are always drawn to me.  That my smile lights up a room and naturally people want to be around me.  Others would try and break me down and out of jealousy or hate and criticize me but I knew they were not speaking the truth. 

We all have the same opportunities in life and we all have the power to help someone each day.  I would encourage anyone reading this to try little steps in your life to make yourself even friendlier.  Offer smiles to strangers.  Look people in the eye as you are passing them and say a quick hello.  Invite someone at work who maybe keeps to themselves to lunch one day.  If they don't accept right away, keep trying.  Have a conversation with someone you know and do a quick check in with them.  Maybe they met someone new, ask them about it.  If they switched positions at work, congratulate them and ask them how the transition is going.   Do small gestures with others that will make them feel accepted and noticed.  Not everyone knows how to express themselves and be outgoing.  This doesn't mean they are a snob or being rude it could simply mean they are shy and lost in themselves.  Try and go out of your way to bring new people into your circle and be a positive influence on them.  You never know the impact you will have in someone's life unless you try.

I am... friendly.

Can you think of ways you can be too?